Thu, Dec
10
2009

The Power of Parliament

Thu, Dec 10, 2009

I’d like to say a big thank you to Liberal MPs who, working with MPs from the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, pushed forward a parliamentary motion which compels various ministries to release uncensored documents on allegations of prisoner abuses in Afghanistan. I greatly appreciate that the government’s shameful attempt to block a proper investigation on this matter — even by officials who have all of the proper security clearances to view said documents — has been beaten back, and I especially appreciate that MPs have finally shown that parliament itself has constitutional powers, and that this country isn’t run by fiat from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Still, I have to wonder at the closeness of the vote. The motion passed by a hair’s breadth of 145-143. I’m sure the Conservatives probably whipped their caucus and brought forward a full house, but last time I checked, opposition MPs controlled 163 seats to the Conservatives’ 145.

It’s something to pay attention to. In parliament, as in life, some things only happen if you bother to show up.


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